Windows XP SP3 moves closer to completion

Beta testers have received access to a release candidate of Windows XP Service Pack 3, but general consumers still have a long wait until they'll see SP3 available for download. Microsoft has scheduled the last major update to its six-year-old OS for the first half of 2008 - likely after Windows Vista SP1.

Around 15,000 testers now have access to XP SP3, and Microsoft says it plans one last public beta release before releasing the final bits next year. The same individuals are testing Vista SP1 RC Preview, although Microsoft has also promised a public SP1 build. Although XP SP3 is more of a roll-up of existing hotfixes and should be completed before Vista's first upgrade, Microsoft will likely delay its release and use SP1 to encourage holdout XP users to upgrade to Vista.

News source: BetaNews

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Most probably.

However you will generally find it on those cover disks computer mags give away.

Won't be free, you have to buy the mag, or become a paper boy and beg the owner of the newsagent to give you a disk.

Rumor has it, and I repeat RUMOR has it, that XP SP3 is going to add additional networking functionality for better performance when connected to Vista machines. Which is going to be necessary since even though the two OSes can see each other, and talk a bit, they both have serious issues when it comes to doing it reliably.

I think the SP3 is a good move for corporations/organizations that are running on Windows XP. It's going to be easier to upgrade the base images to SP3 and update from that point than doing the 100+ post-SP2 updates.

The only thing that scares me is the possible WGA inclusion. I had some trouble in the past with my original key, and I had to contact Microsoft support several times because of WGA said that my Windows installation is not genuine.

What I *think* I know about XP SP3:

- Accepts more CD Keys.
- Ability to install the OS without a CD Key (very handy).
- Three years(?) of updates rolled into one.
- Includes IE7 and WMP11.

Basically, if you have a current and up to date install of XP, it will NOT offer much.

But for new/clean installs, its a lot more convenient because of included updates and extras.

It's buggy. That's all I gotta say... Crashes on My Videos Folder when Windows Media Player creates that folder... Still a lot of work needed... but then again, I did use Nlite to strip it down.

Masterp said,
It's buggy. That's all I gotta say... Crashes on My Videos Folder when Windows Media Player creates that folder... Still a lot of work needed... but then again, I did use Nlite to strip it down.

You do realize that as a beta tester (if you actually are one) that an nLited installation cannot have bugs filed against it since that could be the cause of any issues you have right?

I recommend actually doing a proper install if you truly intend to test. Otherwise you're just wasting time.

It really doesn't matter if you keep XP updated through AU/WU. You're not getting anything vastly important through SP3 anyways.

No, I am sure Microsoft is pushing their older operating system much like Apple will be pushing OS X "tiger".

Oh wait....